Friday, July 30, 2010



That's the best way to describe a production company that will do something like this.

Here's the scenario:

You are an experienced, professional actor and you audition for a stage production but you are not cast, or you submit for an audition but are not even selected.

In the meantime, the production company adds your email address to their database and sends you a series of marketing emails to attend their show with a "special offer" of discount tickets.

This begs the question: if I wasn't cast in your production or you wouldn't even give me a chance to audition, why in the world would I pay to see your show?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cheap Eats: Wendy's

I have no idea if "Cheap Eats" has been trademarked -- I'm too lazy to check. I do know there's a blog with the name that some might call "popular," but when it comes to "cheap eats" I just want simple, straightforward info devoid of blathery commentary and weak attempts at humor.

That said, I'd like to present a photo series explaining how to make a $5 burger out of two $1 burgers at Wendy's in 5 simple steps.

Step 1:
From Wendy's Value Menu*, order a "Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger" and a "Wendy's Double Stack" (and a cup of icewater because it's free).
* Note that prices and availability may vary according to location, but generally all of Wendy's items on the Value Menu are $1 (but check the price of the Jr Bacon on the receipt below!).

Step 2:
Sanitize your hands -- you never know what the employees were touching before they wrapped your food. (And remember that you probably just handled your vehicle's germ-infested steering wheel and car keys too.)
Then, unwrap the burgers and place them upside down.

Step 3:
Remove bottom buns.*
* At this step, you may also add additional condiments, if desired. And if you're still in the car, throw one of the bottom buns to the birds if you need to cut back on the bread.

Step 4:
Rearrange bottom buns, meat patties and other burger content in whatever order suits your fancy.

Step 5:
Combine burgers and enjoy.

For larger appetites, order an additional Double Stack, follow the steps above and you'll have a massive Dagwood Bumstead-style burger for only $3. (You might also have a massive coronary later, but at least you won't die hungry.)

I find there's no need to order anything extra for this meal -- it's very filling and very cheap. And it's about the same size as Wendy's larger, more expensive burgers and includes lettuce, tomato and bacon too. And if you like onions, I'm sure Wendy's would include some for free if you ask.

You can do this same burger mash-up at other fast food places for about the same price. At Burger King, for example, two Whopper Jrs. are more filling than a regular Whopper and cheaper too, but you have to pay extra for bacon and cheese. (And as I mentioned in a previous post, BK's $1 Double Cheesburger is awful.) But for my money Wendy's has the best deal and the best taste combination.

However, McDonald's does have an interesting taste combo with what I call "The Churger" -- a mash-up of their $1 chicken sandwich and $1 double cheeseburger:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Crappy Cover Art: The Groomsmen

I did a previous post on the botched cover art for the 1999 DVD release of Ghostbusters 2, which serves to segue-way into a series on crappy cover art that I've been wanting to do ever since I wasted my life worked for Hollywood Video between 2003-2004.

Granted, there are already whole sites and blogs devoted to such atrocities, but I'm done donating content to other sites and blogs without getting credit for it.

Today's entry is the 2006 indie film The Groomsmen, starring Edward Burns (who also directed), Jay Mohr, Donal Logue, John Leguizamo and the late Brittany Murphy:

It doesn't take a graphic designer's eye to see this is a horrid photoshop hackjob. Without the budget to do a proper publicity photoshoot for the cover art, the designer throws together a collage of movie stills of the cast and from somewhere on the web rips off a photo of Brittany Murphy -- who, in the film, actually has brown hair, not blonde.

Worse still is how Murphy's face was pasted over some other woman's body, and her head placed so far off-center that it makes it look like her shoulder is growing out of her chin. And you can bet that's not Edward Burns' body either with the way his neck looks slightly broken at that jaunty angle.

Also note the tagline: "Till Death do we PARTY!" ...and the beer bottles that Jay Mohr seems to be waving in the air (which also never happens in the film).

This is a deliberately misleading attempt by marketing to make this movie more interesting and appealing to consumers by promoting it as a type of frat sex comedy.

But it's no comedy. And there's no sex in it. Heck, there's nothing really frat-like about it either. And without the barrage of F-bombs dropped throughout the film, it probably wouldn't have even merited the "R" rating. In short, it's a fairly heavy character-driven drama, although it has humorous moments. And it's kinda slow too, but that's not to say it was a "bad movie" because the cast's performances were solid and I did enjoy the film overall (like at least 3 out of 5 asterisks).

I bought this movie at a clearance sale for a buck -- didn't know anything about it, but it had a good cast which also included the late Brittany Murphy and that was enough for me. But if I'd bought it at retail price or rented it because I was expecting a frat sex comedy -- as advertised on the cover -- I would have been sorely disappointed.